Chicago quintet Dolly Varden is built around the singing and songwriting of husband and wife duo Steve Dawson and Diane Christiansen, along with Mark Balletto on guitar, Matt Thobe on drums and Mike Bradburn on bass. Though the band’s name suggests a euphonious connection to a certain country singer, it is actually derived from a rare and beautiful species of trout which in turn was named after a character in Charles Dickens’ short novel ‘Barnaby Rudge‘. Strange, but true: Dawson and Christiansen both had fathers who were avid fishermen who dreamed of one day catching the elusive Dolly Varden in an icy Alaskan lake.
We’re about 6 songs into a new Dolly Varden album and it’s going very well. We’re tracking at my studio in Chicago, Kernel Sound Emporium, which is also Diane’s art studio. Back in 1995 we recorded Mouthful of Lies here, and most of The Thrill of Gravity, too, in 1996 – 97. Plans are underway for us to re-issue Mouthful of Lies in early 2012. We still have the original 4-track cassette masters and we’re loading them into the pro tools and updating the mixes. The tapes still sound good and with the updated digital remastering it will be quite nice. We’ve scheduled a re-issue release party show at Schubas for Saturday, January 28, 2012. We’ll play Mouthful of Lies start to finish, then we’ll do a second set of new stuff and a few faves. I’m not sure when the new album, yet to be titled, will be out, but most likely March or April of 2012. Check back here for updates.